Can one industry change the way people think?
Media is a powerful tool. It has the power to break or make things in our world. May be the term ‘Breaking news’ originated from this power. A lot has been already said about Indian media. They have been sneered for their ‘breaking news’ and shoving the news down our throats. I will not get into all that. I want to give my 2 cents on internet media like online newspapers.
Personally, I prefer the news websites online rather than their counterparts on television. That’s because, at least I get the freedom of choosing which news to read and which to avoid. On television, I get to see the same news in all the channels with just the anchors different. But I have later realized that though these websites are of lesser evil, they are evil nevertheless. The tactics they use to get people read their articles (news) can put some of our self promoting bloggers to shame. The fact that, these websites are already popular and considered a brand makes this even more evil, considering the fact that people actually go to their websites to catch up on NEWS around the world. If it is the TRPs on television, then it is the number of hits per post in the internet world. More specifically in blogger terms, it is called ‘Traffic’. A phrase, every blogger would know and strives hard to get even before he has any content on his blog. It is sad, that news websites aren’t exception to this online phenomenon.
Unlike the shameless bloggers, there is a streak of intelligence in promotions by news websites. Of course that shouldn’t be considered excusable because even the most intelligent thief should be jailed. Here are some observations.
1. Like headlines, electronic media thrives on ‘Title’ of the article to catch ones eye. Interesting title invariably can make the viewer click on it to read the complete article. It’s perfectly acceptable to conceive captivating titles to grab the eye balls. We all as bloggers, do that to be frank. But creating a title which has no connection whatsoever to the article is something as a reader can piss me off. I was once browsing through a popular news website where I came across a title, ‘Saif is a bastard’. Immediately I clicked on the link and began reading the article. It was an interview of some guy, not even related to movies and the whole thing was not remotely connected to Saif Ali Khan. Finally before the last 3 lines, there was one line which said-‘I never said Saif is a bastard’. Was this the basis of making it the title of an article Mr. Editor? If I remember correctly, I don’t even think it was referring to the actor specifically but readers will definitely click on the link thinking so. Pure blasphemy.
2. Most of the time while reading such news websites, I find a third rate journalist, trying to write something to fill up the page. No, I am not commenting on the standard of English but of the article. The modus operandi is simple. The first part would present you with all juicy details which would make us rub our hands with glee at what is unfolding. Glossy gossips take the center stage as the article proceeds to tell us how the elite behave or misbehave. The second part would be an exact opposite of the first, clearly negating everything that was written above. Most of the time, it’s written in such a way that those involved would be denying the gossip. The third usually would be just one or two lines claiming ignorance of truth in the above report, aimed at laughing at us for reading the whole shit.
3. In addition to the above point, the silliest aspect of this kind of reporting is, they would not be ready to take the blame. They cleverly put the blame on ‘Sources’. I don’t know who these sources are but every time I read a crappy news article, it’s always attributed to their elite sources, which bring in the news to them and hence clearing themselves from getting accused of misreporting. Of course, even a kid can see through their farce. In all probability, there would be no sources, I mean who in the world would employ informers to find out what Kareena or Deepika wore for tonight's party?
Attention to ALL news websites: If you are posting something which you are not sure of its authenticity, which has been told to you by some outsider (sources) and which is not even important to anyone, then why post it?
It is indeed sad, that any forms of media are eyes and ears of public and if they are so grossly misused by third rate journalists and SEO crazy editors, then God help them. Talking of God, if you guys have noticed, comments below ANY article in these websites have religious flavour in it. There would be hundred of comments below these posts, abusing each other using choicest words to degrade each other’s religion. And this is true for any damn article of any topic under the sun, from science to cricket, politics to glamour. Jobless youth of India?